Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Finds on Etsy: Party Time!

We have a birthday in our house this weekend (mine) and because of that I thought it'd be a perfect day to showcase some of my favorite birthday items on Etsy. I'm definitely getting some ideas for the little princess' birthday this summer!
First up is an ADORABLE hat from Amybugs Original Style. Tell me it's not one of the cutest hats ever? I love the bold, bright colors in the fabric. This is a must for your little one!Next up is a print-at-home package from Parties by Hardie.Ten dollars gets you all of this:
*Party Hats
*Favor Bag Toppers
*Place Cards
*Square Tags/Labels
*Fill-in Invites
*Thank you cards
*Tags
*Cupcake Sign (or whatever your theme is)
*Pin the Candle on the Cake game
*Cupcake Wrappers
*Favor Box
*Birthday Banner
*Mini-banner
*Patterened Paper
TEN BUCKS!! How can you go wrong? You'll easily pay more than that for all that's listed from a party shop, and it won't be nearly as cute! Also, you can get it personalized for your child for a small additional fee. I'm really considering this shop for Sophia's next birthday!

Last up is a super fun wine glass for the grown up birthday star. This one is so much fun! It's from Ava's Avenue and she has a ton of great stuff to choose from!
Go check out those great shops for your next birthday bash! You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

To make you smile.

I love my kids. Sure, I complain about them sometimes. Okay, alot. Take my facebook status the other day for example. It read: "Sometimes I wish I had earplugs surgically implanted into my eardrums."

But then come the times where they make me smile.

  • Yesterday while driving home, the boys & I were talking about how the Air Force, Army, etc were called "branches" of the military. Now, I have to stop here and point out that yes, some of you may think that's a crazy topic for a mother and her 6 and 8 yr old boys to be on, but when you're a military family it's nothing. Really. Anyway, my 8 year old third grader piped up and said "Oh! Mom! That's just like in the government." Good to know he's paying attention in school. "The government has the legislative branch, the jude-i-kull branch, and the excuse-a-tive branch." A smile instantly crossed my face and it was all I could do not to laugh. I just gently agreed and repeated the words to him the correct way.
  • My little princess was sitting at the table earlier having a mid-morning snack. Holding her peanut butter celery she looked up and said, "You know what mom? Deese sings are super nummy num num. I looooove butter salad."
  • Over the weekend we had a rare few hours where it was daylight and we were not at the hockey rink. The boys were outside in the backyard playing ball with the hubby while I was inside doing mom things. Jonah (barely 6 yrs old) came bounding in the house, out of breath, and said "Mom, I just smoked dad in baseball. I should play in the pros."

These moments are ones that I live for. I could be having the worst day/week/month ever, but all it takes is one of those great, kid-only phrases and I'm instantly happy.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday Routine

Some people go out for dinner. Others go to small groups or Bible studies. Want to know what I do on Wednesday nights?

Yep. I'm a hockey mom.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Chocolate Chip Orange Muffins

When I checked out Cupcakes Galore from the library a couple weeks ago, I also picked up Muffins Galore. I tried out this recipe over the weekend and these puppies were so tasty that they were gobbled up in less than 24 hours.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
Generous 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup milk
6 Tbsp butter/margarine, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Finely grated zest of 1 orange

Preheat oven to 400*. Grease 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper liners.
Mix the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt & chocolate chips in large bowl.
In a seperate bowl, mix together the milk, melted butter/margarine, eggs & orange zest. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix briefly until just combined.
Spoon the batter into the muffin pan, dividing evenly. Bake for 20 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then place muffins on a wire rack until cool.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Finds on Etsy: Janey Mac

After we moved into our new house, I realized that I had alot of decorating to do. We suddenly had more rooms and walls to accentuate. So naturally, I turned to Etsy for some inspiration.

I had been eyeing vinyl wall decor for ages...I just didn't have many options of where to put any in the old house. But here...lots of options. The first place that I realized I needed something was my new half bath downstairs. It's a pretty small room and is painted dark gray. Instantly I thought of this color scheme: black, yellow and gray. So I searched Etsy for the perfect fabrics and accessories. Remembering my love for vinyl art, I found this piece from Janey Mac:I ordered it in my colors and then waited. Just a few days before I had hoped it would come, I got an email from the shop saying that their cutting machine had broken and that it would be a few days before their new part came in, so about another week until I would recieve my art. Then she proceeded to inform me that due to the delay, she would either refund my purchase or if I still wanted the art (which I desperately did!!), she would send me a gift certificate to make up for the delay. Honestly, I would've still wanted the pieces even without compensation...but that just shows the level of customer service that Janey Mac provides. When the art did come I was so excited! I dropped everything and put it up right away. Here's how it looks in the bathroom:Amazing isn't it? I'm in love. With a bathroom.
Janey Mac sends a small vinyl along with your purchase so that you can practice the application process without messing up your main piece...awesome huh? The piece that we got was a green fleur de lis, which we decided to put in my sister's room for some added flair on her wall. It looks great!
Now I have a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket. There are so many things from this shop that I want. The decision will definintely be tough. But the front runner is this design for above the headboard of my bed...

Whatever I decide to cash in my certificate on, I will let y'all know. And I'm pretty sure that I will end up having something from this shop in just about every room of the house at some point.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Valentine's Day Cupcakes

Here it is! The first recipe I tried from the Cupcakes Galore cookbook. I made these for the kiddos yesterday for V-Day, and even my skeptical, "I don't like cherries" sister enjoyed them!
Here's what you need:
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup/1 stick unsalted butter
1.25 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup sour cream
Cherry Cream Cheese Filling:
3/4 cup cream cheese
3 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp Maraschino cherry syrup
Maraschino cherries

Cherry Jubilee Frosting:
1/4 cup/1 stick unsalted butter
2 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp Maraschino cherry syrup
red food coloring

1. Preheat oven to 350*
2. Mix flour with cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugar until light & fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla. ALternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream.
4. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.
5. To make filling: using a blender or a mixer, mix cream cheese, sugar and cherry syrup together until smooth. Use more syrup if necessary. Coop out the center of each cupcake with an apple corer. Drop in a teaspoon of the filling and a cherry; replace the core. Save leftover filling for frosting.
6. To make the frosting: cream butter with any leftover filling until light and fluffy. Add powsered sugar, cherry syrup and food coloring and beat unitl smooth and creamy. Add more cherry syrup if necessary. Frost filled cupcakes. Dust with cocoa and a cherry on top if desired.
7. ENJOY!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Nana Nana Boo Boo!

Sophia and her brother have been tormenting each other for about an hour...such is life in my house- even on Valentine's Day.

Just a few minutes ago, the little princess climbed up on my chair behind me and with fingers in her ears and her sing-songy voice she exclaimed:
"Nana Nana Boo Boo!
You have-a kiss me!
Now you have-a boo boo!"

Oh, how I LOVE the way a 2 year old interprets sayings!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

"Momma! Look outside!!"

Due to a crazy, extremely rare winter storm, South Carolina got DUMPED with snow last night. Charleston registered almost 3.5"! We moved from the base out to Summerville, and while the official total for the town was 4", we clearly got more than that at our house! (In case you can't see it, the ruler is completely covered up to the 7" mark! SEVEN INCHES!)

So Serene

This was the scene in my backyard this morning.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Momma Daughter Time

Thanks to a Starbucks giftcard, the princess & I got to spend some quality time together over drinks and snacks. When I asked her if she was having fun, she said "This is the best day ever!"

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cupcakes Galore

I realize that I did not post a recipe yesterday, but fear not my friends! While at the base library to get the next book in the series that Noah's been reading, I stumbled upon this cookbook and instantly fell in love. That's right...an entire cookbook solely devoted to CUPCAKES! I'd seen it before but never actually looked through it. Boy oh boy have I been missing out! The book has been in my possesion for less than 24 hours and already I have marked just about every recipe to try out at home. I am going to have to keep renewing it so that I can keep making more cupcakes!

I wonder if the library will let me just buy the book from them...

So get ready for a TON of cupcake recipes. My kids and sister are very excited to be my taste testers over the next few weeks. Wouldn't you be?!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Kids...

This is how my kids entertained themselves in the new house before all their toys were unpacked.
video

(Please ignore the splotchy walls...that's how the owner of our rental house touched up the paint...*eye roll*)

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday Finds on Etsy: Organization

Having just moved into a new house recently, organization is at the forefront of my thinking. I'm trying really hard to get my craft supplies set up functionally. This is no easy task, as I went from having a full room devoted to my crafts in the old house, to having it all in my (VERY LARGE) bedroom. Currently I have bins scattered in my closet, bedroom, and hall closet.

I'm also trying to organize the boys' room as well...again we went from having a playroom at the old house to having a huge bedroom for the boys, so the toys are all in with them now. Organization is key to keeping a 6 and 8 year old boys' bedroom tidy!
This thing is a serious need in our house. The hubby has accumulated quite the collection of neckties over the last few years due to coaching hockey. We're always searching high and low on game days for a tie...but this tie organizer by markumswoodnglass would save so much time!!
I must have one of these. I mean it. MUST. I have a notebook in my purse for all the little things I need to get on my errand running. Then, in one of my purse pockets I have coupons for stores like Michaels, AC Moore, Babies R Us, etc. I'm always digging around for those suckers and presenting them to cashiers all wrinkled and sometimes even torn. How perfect would this Mini List Taker from Bits N Pieces Etc be to keep them all together with my lists??
How about these handy closet dividers from The Paper Party Design Co? They come in sets of 5 and can be made to show sizes or have words on them. I'm thinking of getting some for the boys' closests with labels like "Short Sleeve Shirts", "Long Sleeve Shirts", etc on them.

While looking around for organization helpers, I came up with a couple of my own ideas so maybe I'll add some to my shop sometime too...keep checking back!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Let's Eat Cake!

My parents came up last week for an early birthday celebration for Jonah. We didn't have a party, per se, but we HAD to have cake of course!

Here are the pictures of the Mario Kart cake I made for my little man.




Tuesday, February 2, 2010

He's Six.

How do we go from this to this so quickly??

Happy Birthday Jonah!! We love you so much!




Birthday cakes will be posted as soon as I can find the cords for the camera...

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mmmm Mmmm Monday: Cake Mix Cookies

Yes, I realize that it's taken me a week to get back to you with a recipe. It's been crazy. Anyway, here's one of my favorite cookie recipes. Super easy and sooo tasty!

Cake Mix Cookies
1 package cake mix
1/3 cup oil
2 eggs
flour, sugar or cocoa

Heat oven to 375*. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil, and eggs; stir with a spoon until thoroughly moistened.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls; place about 2" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. With the bottom of a glass dipped in flour (use sugar or cocoa if using chocolate cake mix) flatten down to about 1/4 ".

Bake for 6-8 minutes or until edges are light golden brown. Cool 1 minute and remove from cookie sheet.

(This recipe came from my church cookbook, but there's a note that it was originally from Pillsbury)